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EXCLUSIVE: Former Rep. Devin Nunes is sharing new details about TRUTH Social and his decision to leave Congress to take on Big Tech as the CEO of Trump Media & Technology Group, vowing to create the “free-est” social media platform for users across the United States and around the world.
In an exclusive interview with Fox News, his first since retiring from Congress after nearly two decades representing California’s 22nd congressional district, and after leading the House Intelligence Committee for nearly a decade, Nunes said his new chapter is “not political,” but instead, a continuation of his public service.
“I still see what I am doing as a public service. It is not political, but it is public service,” Nunes told Fox News. “This has to be done. This is the most important issue at the highest level.”
“It is really serious what we’re doing,” he continued. “Millions of Americans and people around the globe are counting on us to get this done and get it done right.”
Nunes announced his resignation from Congress in December, and soon after was named by former President Trump to be CEO of Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG).
Nunes said the move shouldn’t come as a surprise, telling Fox News that he has been sounding the alarm on Big Tech suppression and disinformation for the last several years.
“It was hard for me to say no because it is the issue I have been most passionate about over the last few years,” Nunes said. “You would have to be hiding under a rock to not know my frustration with these Big Tech companies.”
Representative Devin Nunes, a Republican from California, speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Dallas, Texas, U.S., on Sunday, July 11, 2021. The three-day conference is titled “America UnCanceled.” Photographer: Dylan Hollingsworth/Bloomberg via Getty Images (Dylan Hollingsworth/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
Nunes said he has “always flirted with technology,” noting he was one of the first in Congress to send text messages to constituents, beginning as early as 2009. Nunes also developed the digital arm of the National Republican Congressional Committee.
Nunes recalled that he was one of the first elected officials to transition to Rumble–an alternative video platform to YouTube. TMTG, last month, announced a cloud services partnership with Rumble.
“I was the first to be shadow-banned on Twitter. I was the first on to go to Parler and be on the website and app,” Nunes said. “This has long been a problem.”
Nunes pointed to his book “Countdown to Socialism,” noting that it is “largely about how the Big Tech companies are stopping average Americans from being able to learn what’s happening across numerous sectors–not just politics.”
“If we don’t get some alternative media platforms going, it is going to be really tough,” Nunes said.
Since Trump was banned from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat after the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol riot, a number of Trump allies have waded into the world of technology, attempting to create alternative platforms for conservatives. Former Trump senior adviser Jason Miller launched GETTR, an alternative to Twitter; and even former Trump campaign aide Brad Parscale launched Campaign Nucleus, which was set to have a social media component.
A screengrab of former President Trump’s suspended Twitter page.
But TRUTH Social, which Nunes said is being “finalized right now,” is intended to be “only a small part of, ultimately, what we envision this company to be.”
As for the larger TMTG vision, Nunes said they are taking a “three-pronged approach.”
“You have TRUTH Social platform, but we are also heavily looking at streaming and having a streaming service, and that is in development right now,” Nunes said. “We are also looking at how do we deliver the news, and deliver news to people. That is more conceptual right now.”
Nunes explained that TRUTH Social is just “the first component” of TMTG, saying that they are focused on making its launch, which is expected in the first quarter of 2022, “successful.”
“We want to have a really high-quality product, but we are looking at multiple product lines down the road,” Nunes said.
As for the TRUTH Social platform, Nunes said they want it to “be a safe, and that is key, a safe, family-friendly platform that does not censor based on politics.”
“So, all of these other companies that are out there that are an alternative to Big Tech, we believe we help them all,” Nunes said. “A rising tide lifts all the boats that are fighting against these tech tyrants.”
TRUTH Social, while not yet public, is available for pre-order in the App store.
Nunes explained that platform offers a message board for users to post their thoughts, and gives them the ability to post photos and videos.
“The photo component of this is very slick, very simple, very slick,” Nunes said, adding that TRUTH Social will also have verified accounts for public figures.
“This is a quality, user-friendly product,” Nunes explained, saying that there will not be any algorithms used to prioritize certain posts to certain users. “It will be in chronological order, and the feed will be so that you don’t miss what your distant relative posted about their kid’s soccer game over the weekend–that’s what happens now on your platforms, you’re just served so much garbage all the time.”
He added: “We want this to be something that you’re not worried about your kids or your grandparents being on.”
As for critics, Nunes said: “You ban us and ban the president, okay, we’re going to raise the capital and build a company.”
“It is not a Republican company, but it is going to be a company open to all Americans,” Nunes said. “It is going to be the freest platform, for sure, because we are not going to be using these algorithms.”
“We are going to get the technology right, there is no question” Nunes said, sticking to Trump’s timeline. “The key will be, can we handle the growth. This has to be built without the use of any of these companies that would cut us off.”
He added: “We can’t use any of the woke corporations, or private woke corporations, so all of this has to be developed from scratch.”
Trump Media & Technology Group first launched in October. The company said last month that the partner has agreements for $1 billion in capital from institutional investors.
TMTG’s plan is to become a publicly listed company through a merger with the publicly traded Digital World Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company whose sole purpose is to acquire a private company and take it public.
“One week in, it’s clear that TMTG has assembled a robust team of world-class patriots committed to developing TRUTH Social and displacing Big Tech’s repressive hold on the digital public square,” Nunes told Fox News. “Our team is excited to be in the final stages of development on this critical platform.”
Nunes went on to tout the former president, saying with TMTG, he is “focused on developing a world-class quality product, similar to his real estate properties and golf courses.”
“He’s already assembled an extraordinary team of developers at TMTG, and we’re constantly being approached by incredibly talented applicants,” Nunes said, adding that he has “been impressed with his keen eye for detail and focus on creating an unparalleled user experience.”
As for whether Trump will use his TRUTH Social platform like he did Twitter, Nunes said: “That’s up to him.”
“He will use it however he sees fit, like we hope all Americans will, and, ultimately, we will venture outside the United States also and then there will be additional products,” Nunes explained.
Former President Donald Trump stands on the Blue Room Balcony upon returning to the White House Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, in Washington, after leaving Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, in Bethesda, Md. Trump announced he tested positive for COVID-19 on Oct. 2. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) ( (AP Photo/Alex Brandon))
“In terms of me, yes,” Nunes said of using the platform. “I am very excited. As someone who has been suppressed by social media and tech companies, I am excited about it. I am really excited.”
Meanwhile, Nunes reflected on his time in Congress, after nearly 20 years of service. Nunes was elected in 2002. He served on the House Intelligence Committee beginning in 2011, and served as chair of the panel from 2015 to 2019. Nunes served as ranking member on the committee until his retirement, after Democrats took the majority of the House of Representatives in the 2018 Midterm Elections.
Trump, before he left office, awarded Nunes the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Nunes, who led the committee’s Russia investigation, called it a “dark chapter in U.S. history that is still being, in large part, covered up.”
But reflecting on the investigation that he felt was the most influential, Nunes pointed to the House Intelligence Committee’s bipartisan China probe, which he said is still ongoing.
“I think that one is the one where we were most out on front, we were doing a really good job, but what happened with the Russia hoax, it destroyed us,” he said. “This is not Trump’s fault or Republicans’ fault, it is the left’s fault for derailing the whole country and taking our focus off of what we should have been focusing on, which is this China problem.”
Nunes said that today, “people are figuring out what a big problem it is.”
“The work we did on China is critically important and will continue to be under Republican leadership,” Nunes said.
As for memories that stand out most to him, Nunes said it was “special” for him to represent his district at former President Ronald Reagan’s funeral.
“I was a little kid when Reagan was president, so he was obviously a major figure for me in my life, and that was, I mean, that was surreal for me to attend that funeral on my constituents’ behalf,” Nunes said.
As for what he will miss the most about his work in Congress, Nunes told Fox News that he will miss “working with the men and women across the military and intelligence agencies.”
“I just really had a lot of respect and learned so much from them,” Nunes said. “It is really something I will always look back on with fond memories.”
“I’ve been to a lot of the good places around the globe with our allies, I’ve visited most of our major adversaries – it was phenomenal.”
Meanwhile, in an exclusive interview with Fox News last month, Trump touted Nunes as a “fantastic leader,” and expressed his excitement about Nunes’ role at TMTG.
“He also loves our country and he wants to get another voice out there–obviously not just for the radical left, so this is a very big thing,” Trump told Fox News. “It is far more important than money. This is a very big thing that we’re doing.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report